PEGGY BREEDEN: Ridgecrest’s Maternal Gadfly Calls Department of Water Resources Director “Mealy Mouthed”! Mayor Bruen Plans to “Build Like Hell”

Peggy Breeden is Not Happy!

May 21, 2022

Ridgecrest, California

It was only four months ago when the IWV Groundwater Authority and City of Ridgecrest were high fiving over the approval of the Indian Wells Valley Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP), and it was only a month ago that Councilman Scott Hayman, the Councilman turned GA Director, raced up to Sacramento to collect a $7.6 million check from DWR, so why is Former Mayor Peggy Breeden calling DWR’s Deputy Director in charge of SGMA “mealy mouthed”?

Breeden was a central figure in the creation of the IWVGA and ultimately the Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP). She was in stereotypical form at Wednesday’s City Council meeting. During the meeting (video below), Breeden provided Council watchers a perfect example of why the Groundwater Authority is currently tied up with seven lawsuits and why, for nearly a year, the Department of Water Resources has been urging the IWV Groundwater Authority to take advantage of DWR’s Facilitation services.

Welcome to Politics in the City of Navy

Recall that in 2020, Peggy decided not to run for re-election due to health concerns and it’s quite likely both she and County Supervisor Mick Gleason would have lost had either of them sought re-election. She likely recruited, together with others in her sphere of influence, Eric Bruen, the President and CEO of Desert Valley Federal Credit Union, to replace her as Mayor with Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s nodding approval.

Although Bruen had never been involved in local politics, he defeated three other candidates, including Lindsey Stephens, a well-liked council member who produced results such as the slurry seal program. Bruen was able to garner a paltry 38% of the vote plastering large 4×8 signs all over town, which he will continue to do every 2 years it appears.

We soon discovered that our new Mayor Bruen was prone to sticking his foot in his mouth when he attacked two civic-minded and well-known critics of the city, Mike Neel and the late Dave Matthews, using a nursery parable and the January 6th riot at the Capitol in Washington D.C. as his backdrop.

In a slick power-play move typical of the crap-filled politics in Ridgecrest, mere weeks after he had been re-elected, Councilman Mike Mowers suddenly announced that he was leaving the valley. Breeden quickly re-appeared saying she was now healthy and would’ve run for re-election had she known she would regain her health.

Breeden became healthy enough to goad the Council into picking her over Councilmember Lindsey Stephens who lost the mayor’s race to newcomer Bruen. Stephens is a homeschooling mother of three young daughters, politically conservative, and after having worked tirelessly for the community and the City Council for four years, Lindsey was gone, Mower was gone, and Breeden was back to form mimicking Mower’s pontifications.

Peggy “Pom Poms” Breeden Slams DWR’s “Mealy-Mouthed” Director

gadfly găd′flī″ noun

  1. A persistent irritating critic; a nuisance.
  2. One that acts as a provocative stimulus; a goad.
  3. Any of various flies, especially a warble fly, botfly, or horsefly, that bite or annoy livestock and other animals

More at Wordnik

On Tuesday night, before Wednesday’s City Council Meeting, the Indian Wells Valley Water District and valley residents were introduced to Paul Gosselin, Deputy Director of the Department’s SGMA program. The meeting was held at the City Council chambers with approximately 50 community leaders and residents present.

In the next few days, look for a new post covering the DWR’s Facilitation Program but for now, our public service blog requires we focus on bidding an early farewell to former Mayor Peggy “Pom Poms” Breeden.

The vast majority of the residents in the IWV will agree the IWVGA is a hot mess. After six long years of “community engagement” (air quotes), acrimony and controversy, a GSP was hastily thrown together by politicians and attorneys with competing agendas and only three goals in mind: Growth, growth and more growth!

What the Bankrupt GA got was seven lawsuits and a conditional “Pass” for a flawed GSP, plus $7.6 million to move the process forward and to keep the bills paid. Thank you DWR!

Everyone is angry and the Valley is suing itself. The legacy of former Mayor Peggy Breeden, former Kern County Supervisor Mick Gleason and current Council member and GA representative Scott Hayman is in tatters and forever stained. Maybe the Stakeholders and people that live in the valley can fix it with the help of DWR’s facilitation. It couldn’t hurt.

Of course, the GA was celebrating in January when the DWR approved the Groundwater Sustainability Plan, and this month the GA pocketed a $7.6 million dollar grant from the DWR in order to keep the GA afloat. Had enough of the acronyms yet?

You’d think they’d be thankful and respectful to the DWR, especially due to the fact that DWR has been offering to provide professional facilitation services to all Stakeholders in the valley’s groundwater basin after holding the hand of the GA for six long years!

In addition, the Groundwater Authority has been working side by side with the author of the GSP, also known as the “water manager” and pipeline designer called Stetson Engineers. It’s wrong to think Peggy Breeden or Scott Hayman have expertise in geohydrology or GSP’s, but Stetson does.

Here’s Peggy Breeden, the City Council’s self-appointed Groundwater Authority and GSP expert, slamming the Deputy Director of DWR’s SGMA program during Wednesday’s council meeting. (Video begins at 1:48:25)

Goading for Growth and Dollars!

The City’s growth fetish has always been a useful political campaign slogan. Growth! Growth! Moar Growth! Does anyone on the City Council remember when McDonald’s came to Ridgecrest around 1972, fifty years ago? Peggy Breeden doesn’t either.

Who can forget Breeden’s plan to annex all the way out to highway 395 in order to grow the city to a size big enough support her beloved In-and-Out Burgers?

September 27, 2014: “Campaign Speech 1”
Nearly eight excruciatingly long years ago, Peggy Breeden announces her campaign for Mayor. with her Plan,
Highway 395 Annexation and GROWTH!

Who Wants Growth? We Want More Growth! Get Your Growth Here!

“WE LOVE WATER and GROWTH!!” – Mayor Eric Bruen, May 17, 2022. Ridgecrest City Council meeting.

November’s elections are just around the corner, so please keep all of this in mind while Peggy anxiously looks for a replacement to endorse and perpetuate her failed legacy as Mayor and un-elected Councilmember.

Councilman Scott Hayman’s performance as the City’s Groundwater Authority representative has been disgraceful. His only contribution to the process has been to heap acrimony and blame on the water district while remaining silent after a GA contractor blurted “F-you” to IWVWD Director Stan Rajtora during the December GA meeting.

Mayor Eric Bruen has already announced his bid for re-election in spite of his obligations as a family man with four children and the CEO of a credit union. His views on vax-mandates are unforgiveable. Don’t forget to ask him about his “Turn Right at 395” Plan. It sounds familiar because he’s a political clone of Peggy Breeden, didn’t you know?

Peggy Breeden is why Ridgecrest has term-limits and the City continues to embarrass itself.

It’s high time for a change at the City Council.

New post 5/23/2022

5/22/2022 UPDATE: Here comes Mayor Eric Bruen, via The Daily Independent, and he wants to “build like hell”!

Mayor Bruen to run again: ‘[I plan] to build like hell if everyone is on-board with me’ By Jessica Weston For The Daily Independent May 19, 2022

But wait, there’s more from The Daily Independent (our emphasis):

“the Ridgecrest Police Department is down to 21 officers from a previous roster of 35 or 36. Bruen attributed the employee decline largely to non-competitive officers’ salaries”

September 15, 2021 from the above post:

  • Second, the City is facing an exodus of sorts, people are selling their homes and taking advantage of record high prices in order to leave the area for greener pastures such as Arizona (in the case of Mick Gleason) or Idaho (in the case of Mike Mower) or Nevada (in the case of high income NAWSCL retirees).

  • Third, because of mask and vaccine mandates, many employees of both the Navy and Ridgecrest Regional Hospital will quit their jobs or be fired due to the vax mandate. This is especially true for employees of the City’s Police Department.

We wonder whether Mr. Bruen supports vax mandates now that we have a public safety issue.

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